Thursday, June 23, 2011

Here to Stay

I just want to note first that I love the name 'Felix da Housecat'. It's so fun to say.

Recently I got a 'new' vintage audio system. It was time to move on from my big black Aiwa box that I bought used in Ann Arbor 7 years ago. When I got my 'new' soundsystem the first song I played was a record I bought in some random record shop in New York a few years ago. The record is a single by New Order (one of the best bands ever in my opinion) called 'Here to Stay' and there's a very fantastic remix by...Felix da Housecat. This was released in 2002 I believe.

When I was playing the song, the guy who sold me the system and had come to deliver and set it up, was astonished that I was playing New Order; he remarked he hadn't listened to them since his high school days in the 80s.

Anyway, here it is! It sounds amazing when I play it in my room by the way. I love it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(West) London Calling

I'm not sure where to start with this post. It's fairly self-indulgent but since I'm the only one doing any real blogging here now I'll give myself a pass. I was checking out Platform and saw some of these vids posted. Then I went here and found more. I'm focusing on a few that stood out to me, for varied reasons, below. They're all filmed in London, all are about the length of the songs that soundtrack them, and all involve young urban Londoners. Whenever I come across stuff like this I wonder about where I might've ended up if I'd not left London -- would have I have had earrings and a silly haircut? I think I would've been one of the uncooler kids, but you never know. Now I'm 32 the nostalgia for this time period is passing a bit, but I wonder about that too -- how would 32 yr old me who'd not moved be? A saddo in a hoody, driving an old Merc around West London? Perhaps. Check out the vids and the tunes that go with them; perhaps Hena will comment on the merits of the film-making?

This first one's about Southall, where we'd go in the back of Dad's Honda to get Indian groceries. Me and Feraz would usually have a big samosa in a paper bag to eat to keep us occupied. It hasn't really changed much. The track on the video is really good too:

The next one is the last day of school at a school in Harrow, in West London, also near where we used to live. I used to see the older kids writing on each other's shirts and think that it would be me one day, but that never happened. I like the diversity of the group here and the fact that they all seem so chummy, despite the differences. Multiculturalism at it's finest!

This last one I've put in cos it made me think even more about the diversity present in modern-day London. These are the Asians that don't really get talked about but here they are showing that they've got their own place in London's street and youth culture:

There you go then. All those vids make me feel old. There was another one that made me feel even older but I'm only going to post the music from that. Check out Solar Bears:
Children Of The Times by Solar Bears

Friday, June 3, 2011

so, has dance music finally gone totally mainstream in america?

You know, it's normal on pop radio and on the charts mainstream? I actually have no idea cos I don't keep track of the charts or listen to the radio, but I did come across this, which made me wonder. 10 million hits?? Someone is into this stuff, and it's quite amusing to watch Chris Brown dance with his hands while surrounded by a dozen rap cameos. The stadium dancing makes me want to go out. The tune isn't the greatest, basically fits in with all the David Guetta featuring whoever stuff, but if dance is finally mainstream I'm ok with that. Look at those happy dancing people in the club scenes; isn't that preferable to shots of expensive liquor and moody looking people being aggressive? I'm pretty sure this sound has been around for a while now, but still, it strikes me that the mainstreaming has come from an unexpected place. Back in the day, shows like 'AMP' on mtv and some of the radio shows on alterna-radio (such as 89x in Detroit) were clearly aimed at white people -- as were the big beat scenes that were promoted at the time. Even today, if you go to a festival like Movement in Detroit, the vast majority of the crowd will be very very pale (as confirmed by a friend who went to this year's event). Yet all that marketing never pushed dance over to the mainstream. Now it's being reclaimed by the demographic that invented it in the first place, through house and trance riffs on rap songs on to straight up cheesy dance a la the Chris Brown/Benny Benassi track. Full circle then! About time.